Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog Hop


This post is part of a BLOG HOP circulating the web right now.  If you are invited to join in, you will be asked to answer four questions about your blog/crafts.

I was kindly invited to join in by Christine from ChrisW Designs.  Christine is my favorite bag designer, so I was so honored that she chose to include me in this fun hop.  You can read Christine's blog hop post HERE.

At the end of my post, I will invite three more bloggers to join in on the fun!

Question #1:  What am I working on?

Right now I am working on filling two bag orders.  The first bag is a Lombard Street Bag (Pattern by ChrisW Designs)

and the second is a Conceal and Carry Handbag.  The Conceal and Carry Handbag is also based on a design by ChrisW Designs.

I am also working on developing a GCC Original Conceal and Carry Handbag.  On Friday I wrote a post on my first attempt at my own CC bag.  I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think. :)

Question #2:  How my work differs from others in my genre?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately.  If you type a search into Etsy for "handbags" you will get 250 pages of handbags!  How is a girl to set herself apart?  One thing that really sets me apart is that I make conceal and carry purses.  If you search for a CC purse on Etsy, the list will be considerably smaller.

I've also noticed there are very few bag makers on Etsy who use hardware.  My bags tend to cost a little more than most, because there is a lot of hardware on my bags.

However, to really set myself apart, I am trying to come up with a specific "look" for my bags.  A little something that makes you say, "Ahh, that is a GCC BAG"!  I'm still working on that one.

Question #3:  Why do I write/create what I do.

This question is easy!  I write and create because I LOVE it!

I opened Gina's Craft Corner back in 2001 to sell pressed flower items.

Back in January 2013 I decided that I needed to learn something new, so I made a resolution to learn a new handiwork craft.  I gave myself three areas to explore:
1.  Embroidery
2.  Quilt making
3.  Knitting

I actually tried the embroidery first.  I checked out tons of books and practiced and practiced.  I started working on making a tea towel with butterflies and flowers, but never finished it.  I got distracted with my sewing work, but it was enjoyable and it is a great craft you can take with you (unlike your sewing machine! LOL).

I then was forced to drag out my sewing machine, because my daughter needed a costume for her school. She wanted to be Laura, from the book, Little House on the Prairie, so she needed a bonnet!  It was the day before school, so I had to hurry!  Super Mom kicked in and even though I had never sewn anything, I decided I was going to make her a bonnet.  So, I found the sewing machine my Mom had given me for Christmas about five years prior, and opened it up for the 1st time.  I know!  It was pretty nice to have a brand new sewing machine just waiting for me in my garage.

Needless to say, I was hooked from that moment on.  Since I really wanted to make quilts, I started with two small doll quilts for my daughters to have as keepsakes.  Then, I started making rag quilts for friends who were having babies.  Rag quilts are so easy to sew up!  I have a great tutorial HERE to get you started if you ever want to make one.

I also tried my hand at sewing some clothes for my girls.  I made a skirt, a pillowcase dress and some princess dresses.  I do not really have a passion for clothes, however if I had more time I would love to make more things for my girls and for myself.

I soon found my passion after I stumbled across a free tote tutorial by Noodlehead.  I had such a great time making that bag and was so pleased with the results, that I KNEW this was something I wanted to pursue, so I did!  Here are some of my creations...


 As far as the blogging goes, that was something that seemed logical once I decided I might want to start sewing items to sell.  I had no idea what I wanted to sell, I just knew that I might be good enough at this to make some money on the side to help my family.  We are a one income home, so I am always looking for ways to help out.

Question #4: How does my creative process work? I HAVE a creative process???  (LOL!)  I guess I probably do, I just have never really thought of what that is.  I guess I would have to say that my creative process usually starts with other people inspiring me.  I love going to the library with my girls and while they are doing 'their thing', I will have a stack of sewing books beside me, just looking for inspiration.  Pinterest and fashion sites are also a great place to see what styles or colors are in for the season.

After I'm inspired I will either look for a PDF pattern that fits my taste and then it is on to choosing the fabric, which is my FAVORITE part.  However, sometimes I will just pick through the scraps of fabric I have and sit down and just design something as I go.  That is how my Casual Friday Bag came about.  It was a "design as you go" type of bag.

Well, that is for me!  I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me and how I got started making handbags.  Now it is my turn to pass the baton on to three talented bloggers/artists.

*Joy from XOXOGrandma- Joy is a Grandma, of course, who creates the most beautiful clothes for her grandchildren (so lucky!), herself and 18" dolls.  She is a refashion fashionista!  She has such a talent for taking something someone else might throw away and making it into something beautiful!

*Sahana from Vikalpah- (Vikalpah means variety in Sanskrit.) Sahana definitely has variety on her web site!   She has everything from beautiful clay creations, gift wrapping ideas and fun sewing refashions. I think you will really love her fun and energetic personality that comes through in her post.

*Allie from Crafty Allie- Allie has so much going on over at her blog!  She has DIY tutorials, recipes, link parties, blog help, AND she is wonderful at crochet and makes the most beautiful items for newborn babies! Please check her out and don't forget to stop by her stores on Etsy and eBay!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Black Vinyl Hobo Bag for AG Wardrobe Giveaway!

This is my second contribution to Diana Rambles "A Year of American Girl Wardrobe Giveaway". You can see the post on my first contribution HERE.   This bag is a a cute little black hobo bag with aqua damask print for the lining.  I've always wanted to make an adult size hobo bag, so this is a great place to start!

Vinyl Hobo Bag  by Gina's Craft Corner
Yes, I'm on a vinyl kick lately.  It all started with my women's crossbody I made a few weeks ago, and now I have so much of it left!  I could probably make 20 of these little bags.  I even tried my hand at painting on vinyl, which was a LOT of fun.

Vinyl Hobo Bag  by Gina's Craft Corner
Vinyl is not difficult to sew on at all.  I did purchase a leather needle, but I've read that some think that this is unnecessary for leather, so I'm assuming it might be unnecessary for vinyl??  Just give it a try!

Vinyl Hobo Bag  by Gina's Craft Corner
The lining is a fabric that I really LOVE.  I just can't get enough of aqua this summer.   

Vinyl Hobo Bag  by Gina's Craft Corner
Isn't this little wallet so cute.  I found the chevron felt at Wal-Mart.  

Vinyl Hobo Bag  by Gina's Craft Corner

Do you want to make this bag and wallet set?  You can!  I found all of these patterns for free at Doll Clothes Patterns.  You just have to sign up for their newsletter to receive the hobo pattern.  Three days after signing up they will also send you free printables of the mini money you see in the picture.  To obtain the free wallet pattern, you have to like their facebook page.  I had to do some searching for the pattern link, but I finally found it while looking through conversations on their facebook page.  

My girl's are very jealous of the little girl who will win this bag and the other bag I made for the giveaway.... Couture Fold-Over Bag.   Poor things.  I should always make two of every thing I make for these giveaways and just put the extra away for Christmas presents!  

Be sure to hurry up and enter the giveaway before it is over!!  It ends tomorrow!!  Click HERE to enter and to see ALL the wonderful handcrafted items you could win (a $575.00 value!!).


Friday, August 22, 2014

An Original Bag by Gina's Craft Corner

(There are affiliate links in this post and I may be compensated if you click and purchase any products.  However, all opinions are my own., of course!!)

Hello friends!  I'm so excited to share with you an original bag by little 'ol ME!!  It turned out to be a Slouchy Hobo Bag, although I really had no idea that is what it would be when I started (LOL!!).  

Now, I did design my Casual Friday Bag and an iPad sleeve, but they both were very basic.  My first bag was simply a snap closure and a couple of slip pockets.  When I began to design this Slouchy Hobo bag, I actually did have some specific goals in mind.  

1.  It had to have those cute little slanted zips that I've been drooling over on some very high-end designer bags.
2. I wanted an interior zipper.
3.  I wanted to include a secret compartment on the back of the purse with hidden zippers on either side.  This compartment could be used for gun carry, iPad, magazine, name it!  
4.  I definitely wanted a closed zipper.
5.  I wanted hardware
6.  Adjustable Strap (which I ended up not doing)
7.  Hardware (grommets, lobster clasps)
8.  I wanted a large Conceal and Carry bag, as I have had many comments from potential customers that they would like a bigger bag than the current bag I offer.  

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

After setting these goals I went to work on a pattern.  I taped some printer paper together, figured out about how big I wanted it and then went to work.

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

These front pockets are my favorite.  Now, you may be wondering, "why pink w/ blue???".  Well, that is what my husband was wondering.  I personally like the colors, but actually it just worked out b/c I only had pink zippers on hand and this beautiful cream fabric with the aqua batik is one that I could not use on any of my products for sell.  Would you believe it had these little brown specks all over it?  I purchased it brand new from the craft store, but did not really look too close at it.  I had had it for months, so it was too late to take it back when I noticed the problem.

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

The left pocket is very shallow, good for lipstick, keys, OR I just realized my flip phone actually fits in this pocket!!  I made the right pocket big enough to fit any size iPhone.

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

This is the most exciting part of the bag!  To tell you the truth, these hidden zippers were the main reason for developing this bag.  The gun bag I have for sell right now in my Etsy Shop has a zipper closure that looks completely different.  They are not 'hidden' like I would like.  THIS is what I've been wanting, I just did not know how to do it!  Enter in Christine, AGAIN, to save the day.  Christine is the amazing handbag designer over at ChrisW Designs.  She was nice enough to allow me to convert her beautiful Bella Bag into a Conceal and Carry Purse.  For this bag, I used her pattern for the hidden zipper from her amazing Lombard Street Bag. Buy Now I"ve made two of these now and I am truly IN LOVE with that bag.  I have one that I carry all the time now.  It is my favorite 'go-to' bag for being out and about all day shopping or traveling.

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

I do not personally own a gun, so I will use this pocket for magazines, library books, my iPad (if I ever get one) are anything else....hmmm, If I still had little ones in diapers, this pocket would be perfect for diapers, wipes AND extra clothes.  Ok-I'm getting more excited about this bag!

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

I learned how to put in the recessed zipper while making the Lombard Street Bag.  It is now my favorite bag closure!  It is super duper easy!!  You just have to try it.

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

The only problem I had with this bag is adding the gusset.  I cut my front body shape rounded on the corners and then I also rounded the guesset pieces.  Should I have not done that?  All I know is that it was very difficult to piece together.  It is not nice and neat, but the look actually fits in with the slouchy style.

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

The photographer, my sweet 8 year old daughter who gets paid $1.00 for photo shoots, told me I should stick to smiling.  I cannot do a serious pose.  The other serious poses, which I will never show to anyone else, looks like I am terrified of something or really mad.  Which, might actually go with the 'gun bag' theme.  (LOL!)

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

Here are the grommets I added and the lobster clasps.  Have you check out my grommet tutorial yet?  I love putting these little guys in because they are also very easy to install.

One bad thing did happen while sewing this bag.  My Kenmore started acting up and I spent 2 weeks trying to stop the loops from forming on the back.  I did everything imaginable to fix the problem.  Anyway, I finally gave up and decided it was not worth taking it in right now.  So....all that said to say...I HAVE A NEW MACHINE!!  I used it to finish the handles on this bag.  You can actually kind of tell in the grommet picture above that the handle stitches look so nice, but the stitches on the main bag are kind of loose.  Ok, maybe only I notice that! (LOL!) So far so good on this machine.  It is a Janome HD (heavy duty) 1000.  The reviews were all good and the best part is that it was on SALE!  The only thing I'm a little nervous about is that there seems to be LESS room under the foot than my Kenmore had.  If it is heavy duty, why would they have the foot so far down?  Also, the feed dogs don't seem to keep the fabric going as well as I would like, but that could be because it is such a tight fit.  Other than that, it sews like butter!

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

Original Slouchy Hobo (Conceal and Carry) by Gina's Craft Corner

Oh...looky there!  An American Girl magazine.  Did you know I am co-hosting an AMAZING American Girl Wardrobe Giveaway right now?  It ends Monday so you'd better enter now!

Have a great weekend guys!!



If you are interested in any of the bags I mentioned from ChrisWDesigns, you can find them here! Click here to visit ChrisW Designs.